"Adventures, I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull...But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have just landed in them, usually...I expect they had a lot of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten."

-Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

GOTCHA!

Alina is now safe and sound with me! We are back in the big city and have had our first Embassy appointment and will go tomorrow morning for the medical visit and then to pick up her Visa.

Here are some pictures from GOTCHA day!

This is a pic from our last visit the day before gotcha. :)


The nanny snatched up her clothes and took her to get dressed. :)


All ready to go, in her OWN clothes!


She was pretty excited to see everyone standing around looking at her.


Pigtails AND a headband! :)


The best facilitator EVER!





She was, and still is, in love with her 'koortka' (jacket)






The best Auntie EVER! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just some photo goodness

of DivAlina!



Peek a boo!


I think she was very excited to only have on one layer of clothing tonight!


I can move! I can feel my legs! I'm not sweating to death! THE FREEDOM!


Cheezy camera face


Beautiful!


Funny too!


I brought these jeans for Alina to wear tonight, because it was like 80 degrees out here and they always put her in snowpants and a winter jacket, and she's always hot, sweaty, and miserable the entire visit. So tonight since it was warm I brought jeans and just put them on her, dressed her myself for outside and put the fleece on her. She was actually comfortable!


Auntie Lisa is here! <3

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1 week from today

One week from today we will be running around like crazy trying to get all of the paperwork done to bust Alina out of the baby house. Two days in the big city and we can come HOME! How beautiful that sounds! I will be sad to leave EE, especially her birth city. Its a beautiful place, our daughters first home. Where I've have spent 4wks. Very important weeks, and I'm glad that as a family we chose to have me stay behind for the 10 day wait. Although its been a long haul, and I miss my boys like crazy, it will all be worth it.

But thats not saying I'm not really seeing my spoiled American side. I miss my boys, the comforts of my home, my bed, my pink cell phone, my own car, spaghetti. Yep, you read that right. An entire isle of ketchup... an entire isle of pasta... not one can, or jar, or mix, for spaghetti sauce. I could probably make it from scratch, but there are limited veggies in the store so I'd hav eto buy them out for a couple days in a row to make it. :)

Alina is doing well though. Yesterday morning when I went to get her, they told me she was not there, but up in the music room. So one nanny asked if I wanted to go up there, I agreed, so she walked me across the baby house, up the stairs and opened this door and there was a huge stage set up with a puppet and music show! All the kids were in there watching, and my girl was sitting up watching with her groupa. I sat down in the last row, right behind her, being quiet so she wouldn't be disturbed. After a few minutes, she started looking around, and her head turned just far enough to see me, and then she was up and trying to get over the chair to me. The little puppet show was cute, and funny, the kids all liked it. But Alina was excited to get out of there and into the bag of goodies. :)

My sister arrived this afternoon and will be taking the train tonight, and will be here bright and early (or dark and early...) at 5:40am. I cannot WAIT for her to get here!

Some pictures.....

Alina is a girly girl! she stole my necklace, then insisted on wearing the bag on her arm like a purse. Today I brought her pink kitty backpack and she was more than pleased!


Papa didn't like saying goodbye


Yes, those are 'I am starting to adore my papa' eyes. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Introducing!

We would like to introduce you to our daughter!

Alina Rebecca Wangerin




Born- April 2nd, 2007
Adopted- October 15th, 2010

The court decree will be active after a 10 day appeals period. On Oct 26th we can obtain all her new paperwork and bust her out of the baby house!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Court tomorrow

Tonight we still don't know what time. We appreciate your prayers for a court date in the morning so that Eugene can keep his very important plans to take the train back to Kiev Thursday night, his appointment at the Embassy at 8:30am, and get on the plane Friday afternoon to head home!

Feeling anxious tonight. We spent about an hour writing out what we need to say to the judge. I get to be the speaker.... so pray for me! Our facilitator told us to relax, don't be scared. Haha, easy for her to say!



A nanny brought this little train push toy out for Alina yesterday. 2wks ago, this little girl didn't quite know what to do with her legs. She took very hesitant steps and her legs were weak from not being used much. Today she can practically run behind her walker or this toy. She pushes her stroller outside and walks behind it instead of riding in it, and her steps are steady, strong, and deliberate! Her little feet are still very turned in, but she can now control them. I can't wait to see what therapy will do for her!


Digging for treats


Girl loves her some Cheezits!


One of my very favorite pictures ever.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The one where they go to an orphanage

Putting into words the feelings of actually being at an orphanage are nearly impossible. Every morning and afternoon we walk through these gates....


Past 'Allum' the dog, around the building...


Up these stairs...


Through these doors...


Through her groupa door....


To knock on the door to her room asking a nanny to bring her out...


Where she gets dressed for outside by a nanny on this little couch...


with clothing found in this little locker (the middle one, to be exact)...


So we can spend two hours every morning, and two hours every afternoon walking these grounds....


And playing in the small play area's with our girl to bond with her, try to communicate with her, show her how much we love her, deal with her tantrums and fight with our own unknowns...


Because NO child should ever have to grow up here. With nannies instead of a mommy and daddy. With a groupa instead of brothers and sisters. With no real free time to run about and be a child. Facing a future unknown if nobody steps forward to be his or her family.


There are no words for actually being in an orphanage. You see them in movies and on TV, you hear others speak about them, but until you actually step foot in an orphanage, you just can't understand. And we are at a very good baby house, the nannies are loving and caring, the children are well cared for, well fed, and have some therapies and montessori during the day. But imagine your child in daycare. Now imagine your child in daycare all the time. Your child sleeping in a room with 10 other children. Nobody to rock them to sleep, nobody to calm them if they have a bad dream, nobody to sleep with them on the sofa if they get sick in the middle of the night. Its not a family. Children need a family.

If you've ever considered adoption, please search your heart and soul to see if you are being called to bring a sweet little one home. If you are not called to adopt, please consider donating to an orphan waiting for his or her family. So many wait....

Monday, October 11, 2010

No pictures, but

We have a COURT DATE! Thursday (we don't know the time yet) we will be in a courtroom asking the government and the judge to be Alina's parents. I will reveal her full name after court. :) I think everyone will be surprised at what we chose. Her first name is staying the same.

Keep praying for everything to go smoothly!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just a few pictures

Not much to write about tonight, we are doing fine. We are still asking for your prayers for our court date, that we get it THIS WEEK, early this week so Eugene can get home to the boys and we can somewhat of a timeline to getting Alina and I home.


This pretty much sums up Alina. Full of life and a total diva! She will point to my glasses and say 'Mama's' and then to hers and say 'Alina's' :)


The joy of a box of crayons


Dump them out, put them back. Ooh and aah over the colors. :)





She does this really cute thing, I HAVE to get it on video. She will give you a high five and then do a thumbs up and holler 'ALRIGHT!' its so cute! Eugene did it once and now she says it perfectly and laughs. :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I won't lie....

The first few days here in Alina's region were tough on me. I was so tired from being on the train, not sleeping well, and being totally disoriented. We got off the train at 5:45am and came to our apartment, we were tired, needing a shower, and feeling out of sorts. Our facilitator told us she would be back at 9am. So it was pretty much throw our stuff down, shower and get ready.

We headed out that morning to the justice dept office to meet the social worker and then we headed to the baby house, met with the director and got her med info, and then met Alina. It was a whirlwind day and by the time we got back to the apartment I was exhausted. My loving husband kept me going. He made dinner, made sure I ate, made sure I was warm enough at night and comfortable, and was encouraging. When we had a couple rough visits with Alina, again he was encouraging and loving, made sure I was eating and getting enough sleep. Without him I would have lost it.

Last night at bedtime I was feeling particularily sappy, and told him 'thanks for encouraging me the first few days, I love you' and he replied 'thanks for dragging me to a foreign country. I love you too'. LOL cheeky man. :)

I am doing much better now, but my anxiety over not having a court date hasn't lessened. That court date means we have somewhat of a timeline to coming home, and that Eugene can get home to the boys since he can come home right after court. I hate being away from the boys, and our childcare options are quickly dwindling. Our family and friends though are amazing, we wouldn't be here without them. The boys are in very loving capable hands until we can get home to them. But its hard to rely on and expect people to drop everything to help us out.

Anyway, thank you to everyone for your kind words, encouragement and prayers. They mean so much to us, and keep us going. We ask for continued prayers that our Interpol paper comes on Monday and we can have court on Tues or Weds so Eugene can get home to the boys and we can get our sweet girly home where she belongs.

And now pictures. I hope you didn't just scroll to the bottom to soak up the sweetness instead of reading my sappy post. :)

I will NOT miss this long hot boring hallway. This is where we play with Alina on days its raining or too cold. I feel like a menopausal woman in this hallway, its at least 90 degrees in there.


She sees the camera, she turns into a cheeseball.


Girl can climb! she went up and down these stairs for a good 1/2 hour today before we pulled her away because it was time to go back to her group. (dig the dress? Eugene loves it. Me? Not so much. Its not her style!)


Yes DivAlina, I will stop taking pictures now. :)

Walking!

We brought Alina her shoes today, she loved them! The one pair was too big, but the tennies were perfect. She walked very well in them, must feel strange to her to have shoes on that are new! She kept looking at the bottoms (the heels light up) and laughing. I guess I will have to head back to the market for a smaller pair (oh darn! :))
We had a great visit this morning, she was happy to see us and we of course happy to see her again. It was a long few days. Its raining and cold here today, making our walk to the baby house miserable, but its not too far, and we had an umbrella.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Ok one more video!

Climbing! She's very strong!

A short video

A short video of Alina outside. Listen to her sweet voice... 'nyet'. :)

Still waiting for Interpol

Prayers PLEASE! That our Interpol paper comes today or at the latest Monday so we can get on with it already! Its harder and harder to see the boys on Skype and not want to dive through the computer to hug them (WonkaVision anyone?). Its been harder these last few days too because we haven't been able to visit Alina, and I fear starting from square 1 with her again when we get to visit tomorrow.

The weather here has turned cooler and I caught Alina's cold. I went to bed feeling miserable last night but we slept in this morning and while I'm still tired, I don't feel nearly as bad so hopefully its all gone tomorrow morning.

We went shopping in the big open market yesterday, that was quite interesting. HUGE does not even describe it! We did find Alina two new pairs of shoes so that she can have something decent on her feet instead of the huge worn out sandals she wears indoors now, and the too small tennies she wears outside now. And they are cute to boot. :) Oh I could have bought shoes there, boots and mary janes, all leather, all around $10 per pair. I WILL go back. :) I also found her two cute hats that I've been eyeing on little girls wearing here, and we found a gift for Anthony too!

So tonight we continue to be lazy, and tomorrow morning get back up and head out to the baby house, praying that our Interpol came or will come on Monday. Its the last piece of paperwork we need to get a court date!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Just one today

Our sweet girl has a fever today, and so does the rest of her group. We got to see her this morning but then they told us to not come back for three days so everyone could get better and so we didn't get sick. Poor girl, I know she's well taken care of, but its still hard to know she's not feeling well and I can't do anything about it.

Here is one picture from today. She's starting to learn that papa is a pretty cool guy. :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 8?

I think? LOL Time is going fast and slow all at the same time.

We are awaiting our interpol clearance, but apparently the local paperwork was all done, it was on its way to the big office today. And we learned our judge took a sick leave? We have no idea how long. We are running out of childcare options at home, praying things move along here soon so Dad can get home to the boys.

I never did update after we met with the baby house director. We learned about Alina's past and why she was here. More about her medicals and who's seen her for what. It was very informative, much moreso than our first appointment with the SDA, alot of their info was wrong, the baby house info was correct and current.

We measured Alina, she is 36" tall and I'm guessing between 25 and 30lbs (my arms are SORE!). Her CP affects her lower legs, from the knee down, but she can bear her own weight, just needs help with balance while walking. The girl is determined and can climb like crazy, and she's very strong. I anticipate getting her home so she can get the therapy and bracing for her legs she needs. Also to see the eye doctor.

We are making good progress with her though. When we knock on her groupa's door, we can hear her crawling across the floor, very loudly hollering 'MAMA! MAMA!' Its adorable. She gets so excited. She loves to be outside too. Its hard to entertain her for our visits with such limited ability, and limited area's we can play. She's curious (or nosy!) and she's quite the diva! We've nicknamed her DIVAlina. :)

Tonight was hard, she didn't want to say goodbye. We walked back to her groupa and she clung to me, when I asked if she wanted to go in, she said no (nyet) and clung tighter. So we sat in the chair and I just held her, rubbing her back, talking to her. She held onto my shirt very tightly, and the nanny came out an talked to her, she kept telling her no, she didn't want to go back in. FInally it was dinnertime, she HAD to, and she cried. Big pouty lip and crocodile tears as she looked back at us. It was awful to have to leave her when what I really wanted to do was rush back to her, scoop her up and tell her it was all ok. We could hear her crying when we got outside, and I pray that she is ok tonight, that her little heart knows we are coming back.

So onto some pictures. She's really a character, when the camera comes out she turns into a cheeseball. Its hard to get a 'normal' pic of her, she scrunches up her face and says 'cheeese' in english (yeah, that was my bad the first day lol).

Check out this hat! And her jacket was like pleather.... she was so slippery! LOL!


Papa is the treats man. :)


<3


How dare I interrupt her eating time with pictures!


Just kidding, she's really a big cheeseball!


This was tonight, she was NOT happy to go back to her groupa.